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S2: To shock buff or not shock buff...


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Searched everywhere I could find, info was all over the place and spotty, with those who use them, most weren’t specific about whether they were using the thick ones or the thin ones... thoughts/experiences..?

 

I’ve been running an S2 without one for a while and it’s been fine with an 11lb recoil spring, but thinking I might give the shock buffs a try on a new gun I just picked up... curious how others feel about them?

 

Thanks.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, aandabooks said:

No.  I don't even run shockbuffs in major guns.  Not worth the hassle.


I’ve never used them in any gun ever and always heard the best way to use them was to pull them out and throw them in the trash... 

That said, they do come with the gun from the factory so......

 

I'm not really curious about them at all because of any worry of frame battering or any of that jazz... I'm more wondering how they might change the way the guns feel, kind of like when you short-stroke a PCC, or if the cycle feels any better when the recoil spring has a bit of preload on it due to the spring being more compressed at rest because of the buff taking up a little space on the guid-rod..?

 

I know I'll probably just have to see for myself, but I imagine there are guys around who've already been down this road and I'm wondering what they noticed?

Edited by ck1
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I've been using them as long as CZ has been making them for the Shadow and later my Shadow 2s. Having sat with the engineers at CZ numerous times and talked about this, they say it saves wear and tear on high round count guns, most especially to the slide at the spring box. For the cost it's super cheap insurance. I've shot them to failure and never had a jam (did it on purpose with an old practice gun). I've never seen anyone have a jam up from them either, here in Canada or in Europe and Russia. I'm sure someone has, and I'd say that person needs to inspect their guns more often. 

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16 minutes ago, slavex said:

I've been using them as long as CZ has been making them for the Shadow and later my Shadow 2s. Having sat with the engineers at CZ numerous times and talked about this, they say it saves wear and tear on high round count guns, most especially to the slide at the spring box. For the cost it's super cheap insurance. I've shot them to failure and never had a jam (did it on purpose with an old practice gun). I've never seen anyone have a jam up from them either, here in Canada or in Europe and Russia. I'm sure someone has, and I'd say that person needs to inspect their guns more often. 

 

Do you roll with the thick ones or the thin ones?

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thick ones. The thin ones degrade a lot faster, faster than I expected really. I've never had a feed issue with them either and I shoot 147gr bullets at 130PF. I know Robin Sebo hates them, he swears they cause jams, but when training with him I had him install one and not a single jam lol. But he says he hated how it felt and threw it away lol, I went and grabbed it off the ground and threw it in my kit as a spare hahahahaha

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Thanks, think I might give the thick ones a try... I'm just wondering what the recoil impulse is like with the buff in there, and guess there's only one way to find out lol.

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1 hour ago, Darqusoull13 said:

Never used it. No idea how many thousands of rounds I'm at now but I have no intention of ever running them. They are a solution in search of a problem. 


That’s exactly how I’ve felt about them too, I totally get it...

 

But, having never tried them, for curiosity’s sake, I can put a few rounds down range with one just to see what I get I guess...

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I wonder why the engineers that design the guns put them in the packaging of every Shadow 2. Maybe they do it for job security or maybe the things have an actual purpose the engineers think is important....my guess is that it would save CZ a bit of money to NOT include them when the guns are shipped...so if they were garbage causing unnecessary problems, they would not include them. I have used them for thousands of rounds through my S2 and have had zero issues.


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Posted (edited)

So, put 400rds through my new S2OR today starting with running the thick shock buff... made some very clear "with vs without" observations, but this is only one session, so I'll need to test more going forward.

 

For setup specifics:

I'm running a fresh CGW yellow 11lb recoil spring, a CGW blue 11.5lb hammer spring, a CGW extended firing pin, and an Eric Grauffel "Ultimate" reduced power firing pin spring (I like Eric G's RPFPS a lot better than the CGW spring because the CGW RPFPS's are a little too wimpy IMO and get killed way too fast for me). This is my usual Shadow spring setup and I know it well.

 

For ammo, I brought:

200rds Impact Ammo 147gr RN (advertised as "guaranteed" to make USPSA power factor) guessing 125-130pf, usually on the lighter side* (I'll get to that).

100rds Federal Syntech "Action Pistol" 150gr FN (also advertised as "guaranteed" to make USPSA power factor) 133.5pf, usually pretty consistent in my experience.

100rds Sellier & Bellot SB9B 124gr RN 146pf, ubiquitous range plinking FMJ.

 

Results:

Started with 100rds of the Impact Ammo 147's, then shot the 100rds of Syntech 150's, then back to the Impact Ammo stuff... right off the bat I preferred the recoil impulse with the installed shock buff as compared to what I'm used to when running the same setup without one. No contest. It's hard to describe feel-wise; I'm not sure I would say it felt softer, but it just felt less "clunky" and smoother. And being that this is with a dot-equipped gun, it was immediately apparent that the dot was much easier to track under recoil for follow up shots (I just ran 500rds yesterday without the buff with the same setup/ammo so my "gun-cam" memory is fresh). Gun just felt really good, really fast, real easy to track, double-taps were all within 2" of each other as long as I did my part, and it felt like I didn't have to try as hard as I normally do.

Now that said, over about 180 rounds, I had about 8 failure-to-extract malfunctions, all with the Impact Ammo 147's... It was pissing me off! I got my first CZ in 2008 and have owned about 10 different ones over the years and I don't think I've had that many failures of any kind if I added them all up over all those guns and I don't know how many thousands of rounds...

 

I seriously was annoyed with all the malfunctions, was getting even more pissed thinking that if it was my extractor and/or spring I was going to have to pull the optic, fix, reinstall optic, and then re-zero... no f'ing bueno.

Looking for a quick fix (and really just looking for blame), I pulled out the shock buff...

 

I then tore through my last 20rd mag of "good stuff" (which was the Impact Ammo 147's), and then the 100rds of S&B, all without a single hiccup (while cursing the stupid shock buff, thinking I fixed the problem by pulling it). The gun felt way clunky without the buff though, it felt like a downgrade.

 

Thing is, when I thought about what had occured on the drive home, the lightbulb went off, and I realized that every malfunction I had was with the Impact Ammo 147's, and that I had actually *noticed some of the rounds feeling too-soft, actually stopping 2 different times because I thought I might of had squibs.

 

Got home, put away most of my gear, and decided to run some checks: cycled a few mags worth of dummy rounds through the gun without the shock buff, sometimes slow enough to try to cause a failure to extract. Nothing, it extracted and ejected fine. Same thing again, only this time I installed a thick shock buff... again, I was sometimes cycling the slide slowly, purposely trying to reproduce the failure. Nothing. Next, tore down the slide, slid a dummy round under the extractor, and knocked on my bench like I was knocking on someone's door who owed me money (hard), no problem, round stayed put, extractor has good tension and seems fine.

I've decided the failures must have been ammo related, NOT shock buff related. (Let it be known that I'm not slagging Impact Ammo in any way, they make a great product at a very fair price and this is the first time I've encountered any problems with their ammo at all, through thousands of rounds, both in their 147gr RN and 135gr HP varieties. I just think I may have been unlucky enough to have received a less than perfect batch with some undercharged rounds.)

 

So after all that, my verdict is: IMO the shock buff is good. It does kind things to the recoil impulse and I like it**

**(but if I have problems again while running one, and am absolutely positively sure it isn't anything else, it goes out of the gun and into the trash and stays there lol.)

Edited by ck1
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, usmc1977 said:

I wonder why the engineers that design the guns put them in the packaging of every Shadow 2...

<snip>

I have used them for thousands of rounds through my S2 and have had zero issues.

 

I've put 60,000+ rounds through two SP01s and a regular shadow without buffs, with zero issues and no visible damage.  

 

Although I'm probably going to break another slide stop pretty soon.  (Does the buff go on the slide stop, perchance? 🤔)

Edited by teros135
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So, put 400rds through my new S2OR today starting with running the thick shock buff... made some very clear "with vs without" observations, but this is only one session, so I'll need to test more going forward.
 
For setup specifics:
I'm running a fresh CGW yellow 11lb recoil spring, a CGW blue 11.5lb hammer spring, a CGW extended firing pin, and an Eric Grauffel "Ultimate" reduced power firing pin spring (I like Eric G's RPFPS a lot better than the CGW spring because the CGW RPFPS's are a little too wimpy IMO and get killed way too fast for me). This is my usual Shadow spring setup and I know it well.
 
For ammo, I brought:
200rds Impact Ammo 147gr RN (advertised as "guaranteed" to make USPSA power factor) guessing 125-130pf, usually on the lighter side* (I'll get to that).
100rds Federal Syntech "Action Pistol" 150gr FN (also advertised as "guaranteed" to make USPSA power factor) 133.5pf, usually pretty consistent in my experience.
100rds Sellier & Bellot SB9B 124gr RN 146pf, ubiquitous range plinking FMJ.
 
Results:
Started with 100rds of the Impact Ammo 147's, then shot the 100rds of Syntech 150's, then back to the Impact Ammo stuff... right off the bat I preferred the recoil impulse with the installed shock buff as compared to what I'm used to when running the same setup without one. No contest. It's hard to describe feel-wise; I'm not sure I would say it felt softer, but it just felt less "clunky" and smoother. And being that this is with a dot-equipped gun, it was immediately apparent that the dot was much easier to track under recoil for follow up shots (I just ran 500rds yesterday without the buff with the same setup/ammo so my "gun-cam" memory is fresh). Gun just felt really good, really fast, real easy to track, double-taps were all within 2" of each other as long as I did my part, and it felt like I didn't have to try as hard as I normally do.
Now that said, over about 180 rounds, I had about 8 failure-to-extract malfunctions, all with the Impact Ammo 147's... It was pissing me off! I got my first CZ in 2008 and have owned about 10 different ones over the years and I don't think I've had that many failures of any kind if I added them all up over all those guns and I don't know how many thousands of rounds...
 
I seriously was annoyed with all the malfunctions, was getting even more pissed thinking that if it was my extractor and/or spring I was going to have to pull the optic, fix, reinstall optic, and then re-zero... no f'ing bueno.
Looking for a quick fix (and really just looking for blame), I pulled out the shock buff...
 
I then tore through my last 20rd mag of "good stuff" (which was the Impact Ammo 147's), and then the 100rds of S&B, all without a single hiccup (while cursing the stupid shock buff, thinking I fixed the problem by pulling it). The gun felt way clunky without the buff though, it felt like a downgrade.
 
Thing is, when I thought about what had occured on the drive home, the lightbulb went off, and I realized that every malfunction I had was with the Impact Ammo 147's, and that I had actually *noticed some of the rounds feeling too-soft, actually stopping 2 different times because I thought I might of had squibs.
 
Got home, put away most of my gear, and decided to run some checks: cycled a few mags worth of dummy rounds through the gun without the shock buff, sometimes slow enough to try to cause a failure to extract. Nothing, it extracted and ejected fine. Same thing again, only this time I installed a thick shock buff... again, I was sometimes cycling the slide slowly, purposely trying to reproduce the failure. Nothing. Next, tore down the slide, slid a dummy round under the extractor, and knocked on my bench like I was knocking on someone's door who owed me money (hard), no problem, round stayed put, extractor has good tension and seems fine.
I've decided the failures must have been ammo related, NOT shock buff related. (Let it be known that I'm not slagging Impact Ammo in any way, they make a great product at a very fair price and this is the first time I've encountered any problems with their ammo at all, through thousands of rounds, both in their 147gr RN and 135gr HP varieties. I just think I may have been unlucky enough to have received a less than perfect batch with some undercharged rounds.)
 
So after all that, my verdict is: IMO the shock buff is good. It does kind things to the recoil impulse and I like it**
**(but if I have problems again while running one, and am absolutely positively sure it isn't anything else, it goes out of the gun and into the trash and stays there lol.)

Now that is a write up and enough where people can make some sort of educated opinion. I sincerely appreciate your write-up.


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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, usmc1977 said:


Now that is a write up and enough where people can make some sort of educated opinion. I sincerely appreciate your write-up.


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Thanks. I just was more interested in finding out how the gun feels "with vs without"...

I don't care at all about whether the buff helps with frame battering or durability or whatever. I'm sure one could buy at least 3 more guns for what it'd cost in ammo to wreck a gun by not using the shock buff, but if it makes it shoot better..?

Edited by ck1
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5 minutes ago, usmc1977 said:

Exactly...guns are always the cheap part of competition shooting.


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Yup.

 

Now what I'm curious about is the "why" it feels better?

I remember reading on the forum here somewhere, someone (think it was Rowdy) mentioning that they decided to try the buff because all full-size CZ-75-based CZ's get recoil springs that are the same length, and the S2 gets that same spring even though the guide-rod is longer, so maybe the spring sits looser on the rod than it probably should when at rest without the buff in there to shorten it up and add a bit of pre-load. To me that makes the best sense. If one considers the "recoil spring+guide-rod" as kind of a shock absorber (like on a motorcycle or something), it would make sense that having some pre-load would make it react differently.

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I like it in the Shadow 2 but not in the SP-01 Shadow.

Test thin, thick and different recoil springs, setup a target, different distances, different split times, recoil control, stance etc and determine what works for you and gives a better result on the target and timer!

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Posted (edited)

Woke up this morning and it occurred to me that IIRC all my malfunctions happened when using my extended mags (Cz/Mec-Gar 17rd nickel mags w/ TTI +4 pads, stock guts, mags are brand new)...

In my experience, weak mag springs usually lead to feed issues, not really failure-to-extract/eject type issues, but the stock mag springs not being strong enough to push up rounds could have contributed in some way. It is a possibility that it was the mag springs and not the ammo.
Whether the stock springs were contributing or not, I’m not sure they’re up to the task of pushing up 21rds reliably, so I’d feel better about stronger guts. Ordered up a bunch of the 11-coil Grams spring/follower kits, and ordered up a bunch of +10 mag springs from Wolff, so one way or another, depending on what I choose to go with, I can have some piece of mind that it’s not the mags. I’m going to try the Grams kits first because after searching the forum, sounds like that’s working for guys (and I’ll get 23rds), but if the Wolff +10 springs seem better, I’ll take reliability over 2 extra rounds...

Nearly $200 in mag springs... I thought CO meant “Cheap Open”... wtf? Lol

Edited by ck1
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I use shock buffs in all my Shadow 2 guns. With minor ammo they last for a long time

In limited TSO guns they do not last at all - 500-700rd. So initially I stopped using them. However, after breaking rear sights every 8-9K  and numerous slide stops I started using them again. It is annoying to replace them once a week (At least)  and they are overpriced. But I have not broken any sights after that and the slide stops last twice as long. Totally worth it in my opinion

 

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Searched everywhere I could find, info was all over the place and spotty, with those who use them, most weren’t specific about whether they were using the thick ones or the thin ones... thoughts/experiences..?
 
I’ve been running an S2 without one for a while and it’s been fine with an 11lb recoil spring, but thinking I might give the shock buffs a try on a new gun I just picked up... curious how others feel about them?
 
Thanks.

2 decades ago did for a while under old major PF of 170. Meaning ammo ran at ~175 PF. Quit because I could see not benefit. And, haven’t since. My STI frame .40 S&W just runs and no issues with frame. Use a 10 lb recoil spring as recommended by gun smith. A legit USPSA GM and one of the best gun builders I know. My SP01 has 67k rounds and no issues and no buffer.

Re post recently re slide stops and sight breakage. Don’t know what
sight on the pistol. Did have my SP01 sight break at rear of dove tail. Reason. Pressure from the slide pushing up on the sight. There should be a couple of thousands gap between slide and rear sight tang. Without it they will break due to metal fatigue. Fracture looked like classic metal fatigue break. With relief cut never broke another.


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Searched everywhere I could find, info was all over the place and spotty, with those who use them, most weren’t specific about whether they were using the thick ones or the thin ones... thoughts/experiences..?
 
I’ve been running an S2 without one for a while and it’s been fine with an 11lb recoil spring, but thinking I might give the shock buffs a try on a new gun I just picked up... curious how others feel about them?
 
Thanks.

2 decades ago did for a while under old major PF of 170. Meaning ammo ran at ~175 PF. Quit because I could see not benefit. And, haven’t since. My STI frame .40 S&W just runs and no issues with frame. Use a 10 lb recoil spring as recommended by gun smith. A legit USPSA GM and one of the best gun builders I know. My SP01 has 67k rounds and no issues and no buffer.

Re post recently re slide stops and sight breakage. Don’t know what
sight on the pistol. Did have my SP01 sight break at rear of dove tail. Reason. Pressure from the slide pushing up on the sight. There should be a couple of thousands gap between slide and rear sight tang. Without it they will break due to metal fatigue. Fracture looked like classic metal fatigue break. With relief cut never broke another.


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  • 4 weeks later...

I always used a thick one in my Shadow 2 guns. Never a malfunction from them. I just liked how the gun felt with than without.

I tried running them in 75 series guns and the guns didn't like it.

I am a fan of how the thick buffers feel in the Shadow 2.

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